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Window work of art

Students from the Aquinas Honor Society at the Immaculate Conception School in Jamaica Estates are creating a stained glass window for their school that will help memorialize some of the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Society moderator and history teacher Carl Ballenas was telling his students about how stained glass windows were used in the middle ages as teaching tools. Eventually, research done about the meaning of different windows was used to create the book Story Windows.

Then, two years ago, the 36-member Society decided that it wanted to do something for a school window that was empty, and Ballenas felt they could do a stained glass for the space.

They decided on a theme of “peace and hope.” Different colors were selected to represent different feelings, such as chaos, confusion, rebirth and hope. There is blue to represent the Blessed Mother Mary, a rosary to represent prayer and an abstract form as the Holy Spirit.

In addition, there is an olive branch with three leaves that were cut from steel beams from the World Trade Center that the school obtained from the New York Fire Department.

Another purpose of the window will be to remember some of the victims of the terrorist attacks. The names of Immaculate Conception parishioners who died on 9/11 will be engraved in the window.

The students received a grant from the Alive in Hope Foundation for the stained glass window project. They have been receiving help from professional art restorer Ernesto Mendoza, whose daughter Melissa is a former Society member.

Society member Arianna Goberdhan said that she has had a great time working on the project and said that the design represents different cultures and religions. She added that her favorite part has been putting the design together.

“I think it’s awesome,” she said. “I love it.”

The students have been participating in workshops to create the window on Saturdays and Sundays for the last few weeks. They have spent time learning how to use the tools and practicing the craft.

Brandon Arjun said he was very excited about the project and that it has been fun getting to learn how to do everything. Alex Samaroo said that they have learned skills that they will take with them for the rest of their lives.

Arjun and Samaroo also said that all of the members had a part in the stained glass window project and worked as a team to complete it.

Julio Ulloa pointed out that, once the window is in place, it is something that the students will be able to return to see and tell their family members about.

The students said that they can’t wait to see the window up and the happy faces looking at it.

Ballenas said that he is hoping to have a dedication ceremony for the window near the end of April. There will be a mass at which it will be blessed prior to being installed.

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